Sunday, April 20, 2014

Small Oil Studies

Always hoping for improvement and versatility, I keep working on areas of my art where I feel I'm less than proficient. Two of my biggest weaknesses are painting with oils and painting interesting, yet believable, skies. Yesterday I spent my time in the studio sorting through reference photos and doing small studies. As with all studies, some were more successful than others. I kept them under 2 hours, so I moved thought these rather quickly (at least "quick" for me). It was a good learning experience. Maybe I'll do another study or two today!

Time spent experimenting and learning is time well spent indeed! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"After the Storm"

It was with a fair amount of trepidation that I began work on this large (20x30) painting. My last attempt at a big one was a 6 week disaster that left me angry and frustrated. Still... I needed to push forward.
After drawing the composition (with white charcoal) on a neutral gray primed board, I started blocking in some of the darks with a thin mixture of warm browns and grays. Working quickly while the paint was still a little wet, I smacked in some of the lighter areas allowing the colors to overlap and blend. This isn't easy with acrylic, but it keeps me working very fast.
Going back over the blocked in areas after the paint was dry, I started to refine things and push the shapes closer to what they would be in the finished painting. This took a considerable amount of time and effort. I wasn't really sure how I wanted to handle the reflections of the trees on the water in the foreground and reworked this part of the painting several times.
After almost a month of steady work, the painting was nearing completion... but there were still a few things bothering me.
The reflection of the large group of trees wasn't doing anything for the painting and I needed to reconsider that entire area again. In fact, nearly all of the stream was going to need repainted. It was close, but not quite right.
That awful clump of snow in the lower right corner was going to need some attention as well. The shape was odd and I needed to think about making it flow into the painting a little better.
So... I put the painting away for almost 2 weeks and worked on another project. Once I got it back on the easel, the solutions became relatively clear and I was able to finish the piece in less than 2 days.
"After the Storm" 20x30 acrylic
Detail from "After the Storm"